A Month of Consecration
Happy New Month!!
The first quarter of the year has ended and we are starting a new chapter, a new season, a month. Here at Shiloh Tabernacle, the month of May has been declared a month of Consecration and will be praying and fasting. The scripture for this month is taken from,
Joshua 3:5- "Then Joshua said to the people, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” (ESV)
Just a little background...
The book of Joshua begins and the servant of God Moses has died. Joshua is now commissioned by God to lead the children of Israel over the Jordan into the promised land. God encourages Joshua in chapter one and repeatedly says, "Be strong and courageous" assuring Joshua that he will be with him and the land where they are going has already been given to them. Joshua now assumes command and prepares to lead the children of Israel across the Jordan into Jericho. Before this though, Joshua sends two spies into the land. The spies come back with a great report, Joshua 2:24- "And they said to Joshua, “Truly the Lord has given all the land into our hands. And also, all the inhabitants of the land melt away because of us.” Following this great news, we arrive at chapter 3, as the children of Israel prepare to cross the Jordan.
Now we're all caught up...
As the children of Israel prepare themselves to take possession of what is theirs, Joshua tells the people, to consecrate themselves.
The Hebrew word for 'consecrate' is 'Quadash' pronounced 'kaw-dash'
This word means, to consecrate, sanctify, prepare, dedicate, be hallowed, be holy, be sanctified, be separate.
When Joshua tells the Israelites to consecrate themselves, he is basically telling them to prepare themselves. The wonders and miracles the Lord was about to in their lives were tremendously amazing that they needed to be prepared. How amazing is that? We believe the same is for us. As we consecrate ourselves and set ourselves apart, we are preparing for what God is about to do in our lives. The wonders God is about to do are extremely astonishing that we need to prepare for them. In other words, get ready to see something you have never seen, brace yourself for impact because God is about to blow your mind!!
1 Corinthians 2:9- “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
What God is about to do in your life, has not been seen by any eye, and has not been heard by any ear. Trust me, you need to prepare yourself for this. Let us set ourselves apart, consecrate ourselves for the Lord is about to do wonders in our lives.
We commence our fasting today and trust me, it can difficult to put this flesh under subjection but we ask and receive the grace to pray, the grace to fast, and the grace to read and understand the word. Whenever a fast is declared, the enemy is not happy at all! He will try his little tricks and schemes to keep you down, but always remember, the one who is inside of you is greater than the one who is in the world (1 John 4:4) Do not be dismayed by the tricks of the enemy, stand strong. As you continue to fast, your spirit man gains strength, your spiritual senses will be heightened and you will come out of this fast stronger than you went in.
Be encouraged brethren, the Lord God of Israel is with us.
Draw near to Hear
In Ecclesiastes chapter 5, the preacher discourages us from rushing to speak whenever we appear before the Lord, but rather to come prepared to listen - seeking for wisdom and guidance in whatever is at stake.
You see, we are good at rushing into God's presence with many words about our problems and issues, even before saying hullo to Him - before worshipping Him - and as a result, we end up making vows that we are not even ready to keep. The preacher calls such utterances - " sacrifice of fools"
Coming to God ready to listen doesn’t mean that we are not to present our troubles or needs to Him. Of course, He wants us to do this but not rashly. The Hebrew word for listen, shama, literally means "to hear," and is often employed to convey obedience - to obey as seen in Deut 26:17. We cannot obey what we have not heard.
For every situation, there is an instruction from God - and to solve it therefore, we need to hear the instruction so we can obey it. Obedience then will see us through every situation we face - remember as the prophet Samuel put it, "… to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams" ( 1 Sam. 15:22)
Therefore, God wants us to approach Him with an ear to hear all the instructions from His mouth so that we can succeed His way and not own. That is why we need to schedule some daily quiet time with God, a time where we are doing less of the talking and He more of the listening. We need to hush all the noises in our heads and hearts that emanate from raucous sounds of the hustle and bustle around us which incessantly bombard our inner ears. Their aim is for us to miss the guidance of the Lord.
Let this be your prayer today - Dear Lord, teach me how to wait in silence. Let me hear you speaking to my heart, let me get used to your voice so that I can decipher your wisdom and guidance and will in my situation. Amen
You Worry Too Much
Worry is fear of the unknown and how things are likely to pan out in the future. It is the antithesis of faith, in that it looks at the negative side of things, while faith maintains a positive stance despite the situation. The worrying mind plays images and videos of possible scenarios that could go wrong, which if dwelt on can be destructive. Worry curtails one’s propensity to think straight and therefore devise proper means of getting out of situations. But above all, worry magnifies the issues at hand and in the process, diminishes the power of God and His promises in our lives.
Worrying is so exhausting and if not checked can lead to high anxiety and even cause physically illness. Excessive worrying can affect your appetite, lifestyle habits, relationships, sleep, and performance at work. Consequently, some people will seek relief from worry in harmful habits like overeating, cigarette smoking, alcohol, drugs and even sex.
That is why Jesus teaches in Matthew 6:25-34, saying " ... do not worry..." - about food, clothing and the bills that weigh us down. He says that over-worrying will not change anything - If God feeds the birds of the air, won't He feed us much more given that we are much more valuable than they?'
If He dresses the flowers in splendour that far surpasses that of king Solomon," will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith'"(Verse 30).
He says that we should not worry about what even bothers the pagans (unbelievers). In other words, we cannot be believers and then worry like unbelievers. What we should be worried about is whether our names are in the book of life - His Kingdom and righteousness; and let tomorrow worry about itself.
I don't know what has been weighing you down and causing you untold stress lately. All you need to know is that God's got it - and is working out something better for you. You are more valuable to Him than anything else, which is why He have His only begotten son for you. If He did not spare His son by delivering Him to us as a ransom, how shall He not together with Him also freely give us all the things that we desire? (Romans 8:32)
Therefore, take heart and believe in God, knowing that He is doing something about your situation. Also remember that 80% of the things we worry about never happen - so why waste energy that could be put to good use on somethings that are never going to see the light of day?
Look, it will be well with you in Jesus' name.
Because You Have Seen?
On the first day of the week after - the resurrected Jesus showed Himself to His disciples, commissioned them and breathed on them, saying, receive the Holy Spirit (John 20:19 -22). However, Thomas was not with them and therefore missed out on a great experience. Was this a result of sullen despondency? Had his master’s death hit him so hard, leaving him discouraged and feeling defeated? Could it be that he was so disappointed that he felt like being alone to reflect and take stock since all had hoped for was now gone? ˜What a waste of time this has been, and where do I go from here?” he must have thought - For him it was the end of the road.
This is what happens to most of us when we hit a rough patch in our lives; we tend to recoil into solitude, not knowing that it only makes things worse by feeding discouragement and self-pity. We are then tempted to stay away from church or fellowship with friends; we end up missing our visitation when Jesus appears in meetings and services that we should have attended.
Worse still, even when Thomas eventually resurfaces (thank God, he did - because some people tend to completely disappear), he does not believe when his friends tell him they had seen Jesus. Consumed by doubt and resignation his response is, “unless I see the nail marks in his hands, and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I not believe.” (John 20:25). He wanted physical evidence before he could believe. Like someone once put it, doubt is an intellectual problem, where belief is influenced by sense and carnal reason. Thomas could not believe the word about the resurrection because it did not make sense to him.
Are we not in many instances like Thomas when we fail to believe both the written and spoken word - until we have seen? Well, Jesus does him a favor and makes a second visit to his disciples so that Thomas can believe. He straight away walks to him with the evidence for which he has been waiting. Thomas sees and touches Him, and Jesus says to him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” (John 20:29). In other words, is your faith in your eyes and your hands? Have you ever seen someone who says to, let me see - by wanting to touch? This is because most people's faith is in their 'hands' - THEY MUST TOUCH TO BELIEVE.
We cannot afford to give God conditions before we can believe, rather we need to be counted among the blessed by simply believing His Word at all times. That is the essence of faith, for if you can see it, then you do not need to believe. That is why we are called believers - otherwise, we end up becoming ‘unbelieving believers.’
We need to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Remember, Jesus said ‘All things are possible to him who believes’ (Mark 9:23). He also stated that, if we believe, we will receive whatever you ask for in prayer (Matthew 21:22).
Therefore, let’s purpose to believe in Him right away and not because we have seen. Like Sarah, we need to be confident in the one who promised, casting away our doubts and believing His every Word- for He is faithful and will bring to pass whatever we believe (Hebrews 11:11).
Go ahead and believe for you will surely behold that which you are expecting from the Lord. Evict that spirit of doubt, it won’t do you any good.
So the month of November in our church calendar is a month of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is something that we must do at all times, but we take time to specifically thank God for keeping us as a ministry. This November, Shiloh turns 6 years old!!! How amazing!!! It is all because of his grace and we remember where he has brought us from and we return to bring him an offering of Thanksgiving from the 23rd- 25th November 2018. Invite a friend and come celebrate with us,
In preparation for this powerful weekend, Rev Reuben brought us the word; 'Gratitude Quotient' this weekend encouraging us to have an attitude of gratitude. As I mentioned earlier, Thanksgiving is to be done at all times.
In the same way, we have IQ (Intelligence Quotient), EQ (Emotional Quotient) we must have GQ (Gratitude Quotient) May we have a high GQ when it comes to the things of God, we must always remember to give thanks and give God the glory.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
"In every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus."
This scripture puts it so well. It highlights when we should be thankful. It makes it extremely clear that at ALL TIMES, we must be thankful, we must have a heart of gratitude. I love that the Amplified Version adds "no matter what the circumstances" It doesn't matter what life throws at you, no matter the hurt, pain, whatever it is you are going through, you must give thanks. If you are breathing, you have a reason to thank God. You may not have everything you want, but the fact you are still alive, you have something to thank God for.
The last part of that scripture gives us the reason as to why we must give thanks at all times. Paul doesn't write this just because he wants the church in Thessalonica to give thanks in spite what they're going through. Paul isn't oblivious to the fact it may be hard to give thanks no matter the situation but because it is "the will of God for US in Christ Jesus" he encourages the church to do so. Giving thanks is the will of God for our lives!
There are two keys to being thankful; they are, Remembering and Returning.
You cannot be thankful unless you remember where God has brought you from and what he has done for you. Last Sunday the entire world gathered in remembrance of the end of the First World War. 100 years later, we are still remembering when the war ended and we remember all those who fought and lost their lives so we can live in freedom today. We cannot forget those men and women who fought for us. How about God, who woke you up this morning, put you on your way, put food on your table, and has sustained you all the way from January to this very moment. Oh, and he's not going to stop there, he's going to keep sustaining you and keeping you. How can we not remember such a God?
Another huge component of being thankful is returning. It's great to remember, but your Thanksgiving isn't complete until you return to give praise and thanks to him who deserves it. The Bible tells us of the story of the 10 lepers that Jesus heals. But out of the 10 only 1 returns to give God thanks and praise.
verse 15 says:
"One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan."
Verse 17 really sticks out to me
"Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?"
You do not want to be one of the 9 lepers that Jesus asks about. Return back to God and give him the glory, honor, and thanks he deserves.
I pray you have been blessed by this summary of the sermon, don't forget to listen to the sermon which can be found on the 'Media' tab of the website.
Enjoy the rest of your week and you Sunday